Oct 29, 2018

Knock-in rat lines with Cre recombinase at the dopamine D1 and adenosine 2a receptor loci.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Jeffrey PettiboneJoshua Berke

Abstract

Genetically-modified mice have become standard tools in neuroscience research. Our understanding of the basal ganglia in particular has been greatly assisted by BAC mutants with selective transgene expression in striatal neurons forming the direct or indirect pathways. However, for more sophisticated behavioral tasks and larger intracranial implants, rat models are preferred. Furthermore, BAC lines can show variable expression patterns depending upon genomic insertion site. We therefore used CRISPR/Cas9 to generate two novel knock-in rat lines specifically encoding Cre recombinase immediately after the dopamine D1 receptor (Drd1a) or adenosine 2a receptor (Adora2a) loci. Here we validate these lines using in situ hybridization and viral vector mediated transfection to demonstrate selective, functional Cre expression in the striatal direct and indirect pathways respectively. We used whole-genome sequencing to confirm the lack of off-target effects, and established that both rat lines have normal locomotor activity and learning in simple instrumental and Pavlovian tasks. We expect these new D1-Cre and A2a-Cre rat lines will be widely used to study both normal brain functions and neurological and psychiatric pathophysiology.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Biochemical Pathway
Receptors, Purinergic P1
Transfection
Drd1a protein, mouse
Adenosine
Genome
CRISPR-Cas Systems
Gene Editing
Striatal Cell Bridges
Neurons

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